Day 98 (Easter)
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012
Welcome to Day 98 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
1 Samuel 3:10, “The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 4:11, “The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.” (They were Eli the priest’s sons, who brought shame upon the tabernacle by mishandling sacrifices and sleeping with the female tabernacle attendants.)
v 16 “Eli asked, “What happened, my son?” 17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years.”
Thus, the prophecy concerning Eli and his house was fulfilled, including the death of his daughter in law as she was giving birth to Phinehas’ son, aptly named, “Ichabod” meaning “no Glory” because the Glory had departed from Israel…
1 Samuel 5, the Philistines have captured the ark and placed in the temple of their god, Dagon. Bad idea…
v 4 “The following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. 5 That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.” v 11, “So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.”
Psalm 77:10 “Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
2 Corinthians 8:7, “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
What a sad turn of events… although Eli and his son’s demise did not occur overnight… Eli had served 40 years as priest, with his sons by his side much of that time. (I wonder if Eli’s son Phinehas married one of the girls from the entrance to the tabernacle?) 1 Samuel 2, “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.”
Seems the Israelite put their trust in the Ark itself rather than what it represented… God’s presence, his glory. By taking it out to battle, thinking it would give them victory, instead, it is captured. (The Philistines give it back in the next chapter or two, if I recall, because they are stricken with tumors, and rats!)
The sin of Eli’s house was great… he overlooked his son’s sins of mishandling people’s offerings as well as their promiscuity. It ultimately brought them all to ruin.
I always wonder “what if?” What if Eli had removed his sons from the Lord’s service? What if Eli had gone to the Lord and asked for forgiveness when Samuel told him what the Lord had spoken to him?
I wonder what would have happened… if things would have turned out differently with Adam and Eve had they asked for forgiveness rather than shifting blame. Same with Moses and hitting the rock. Moses cried out for Israel so many times, but he didn’t cry out for himself?
I love the verses from the Psalms about remembering God’s mighty acts… Keep in mind nearly 400 years have passed since the Exodus from Egypt. That’s a long time. None of this happened over night. Often times sin is like cancer that spreads and kills slowly… Jesus often referred to sin as “leaven” or yeast… that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Doesn’t take much.
The verses from 2 Corinthians are also mention-worthy… about excelling in the grace of giving… Good advice.
Lord I thank you for what this day represents… Easter Sunday we celebrate your victory over death and the grave! That you are not a god like “Dagon” that is made of stone and cannot see or hear. You are alive and well!